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Past negative of な adjectives

When I first came across な adjectives, I was taught that the past negative is

[adj] + では ありません でした, e.g.

へやは しずか ではありませんでした。(The room was not quiet.)

Marugoto does things differently:

へやは しずか じゃなかったです。

Whoa! That's different, and probably a bit less formal.

So here's my question: if I use the first possibility, does this mark me as hopelessly old-fashioned? Or just very formal? Conversely, might there be people who would take exception at the second possibility?

November 13, 2017



The two meanings are exactly the same. ~ではありません is more formal than ~ではないです which is more formal than ~じゃないです。←changed to present tense, obviously. * You won't sound old-fashioned, but if you use it in the wrong situation you will seem either cold & aloof or too casual. Among good friends using the more polite forms would get you laughed at. At a work meeting (barring a convivial atmosphere), using the last one might get you cold looks.


Ah, that is exactly what I was wondering about - thank you!

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